Cultural Compass: City structures, iconic modernism, hybrid performance and more

Exhibitions, music, architecture, books, festivals… this is Belga English's pick of cultural activities in Flanders and Brussels, published every Sunday.

The fourth edition of the Bruges Triennial focuses on the exploration of liveability in the city. This year’s international artists look to sustainability and change for inspiration for the 12 creations that pop up in Bruges and Zeebrugge.

Until 1 September, visitors can get up close to works such as Star of the Sea, an installation by Turkish artist Ivan Morison, consisting of tunnels built into the sand dunes on the coast. Large enough for people to walk through, the winding tunnel system brings the audience into the artist’s space.

Deemed “a fourth beacon for the Bruges skyline”, Bangkok Project Studio’s The Tower of Balance is another structure on the Triennial’s must-see list. Artist Boonserm Premthada was so inspired by the Bruges belfry tower and its bells that he wanted to create a contemporary response. His open, wooden tower consists of three platforms and a bell at the top for bell enthusiasts to ring. It offers a sprawling view over the city.


The much-anticipated exhibition of Josef and Anni Albers opened last week and will run until 8 September. At Villa Empain in Ixelles, the "iconic couple of modernism" will display more than 100 works - paintings, assemblages, photographs, graphic works, textiles, films, and furniture - tracing their journey and the bond that has bolstered their creations. Both of these artists created a fundamental work in the history of 20th-century art and their legacy of influence on other artists is showcased here.

Flemish actor and director Benny Claessens brings a whirlwind contemporary performance to NTGent Minnemeers theatre in collaboration with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.

Three performances of White Flag on 16, 17 and 18 April transport audiences into a story of “sensual and vulnerable pleasure” in a hybrid of live film, music and theatre. A queer Greek chorus and modern goddesses tell a story of rebellion against the traditional, masculine values such as strength, genius and heroism in a new way.

White Flag © OBV
White Flag © OBV

Starting on 19 April, Antwerp’s Red Star Line Museum will offer a free in-depth look at Albert Einstein’s connection with Belgium. A Wanted Refugee: Einstein and Red Star Line looks at the scientist’s journey from Nazi Germany to Belgium and ultimately the US aboard a Red Star Line ship. Visitors can peruse rare photographs, shipping records and other interesting objects associated with Einstein’s time in Belgium until 8 September.

The Saint-Gilloise Biennial will take place over the weekends of 13 and 14 April and 20 and 21 April. This new edition is entitled What Binds Us and focuses on artists connecting with the community around them. The event brings together works of the past and works of the present by local artists. The Horta House will be the host for contemporary artists Louise Devin and Milan Jespers as they use their art to revisit the family history in the space through ceramics and drawings. Across Saint-Gilles, workshops, boutiques, performances and installations invite visitors in to see the countless number of artists living and working in the community.

Belga has covered the opening of two other major cultural events this week: Antica Fine Arts Fair in Brussels and Slow Arts Day.

Ongoing events

Afrika Film Festival
Jean-Michel Folon, A Journey in Brussels
Rivoluzione e Nostalgia, La Monnaie ​
Ombra and PUUR at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen​
Jef Verheyen: Window on Infinity, KMSKA​
Paul Harbutt, Museum De Reede
The Crystal Ship
Leaps of Faith, z33
Rodin: A Modern Renaissance


​​#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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